In the 21st century, the term "Netflix and Chill" has become more than just a term; it’s a lifestyle. "Netflix and Chill" is talked about in most songs, presented on memes and is done on the daily basis. Although Netflix launched in 1997, the company didn’t introduce online streaming until 2007 which allowed its members to instantly watch movies and television shows on their computers. In 2009, Netflix partnered with electronic companies to stream on the internet connected TVs, officially coining the phrase "Netflix and Chill.” Recently, Netflix became worldwide, with approximately two in every ten people streaming Netflix through a device. As of April 2018, 56% of females and 44% of males in the United States binge watch with millennials (ages 20-23) being the largest group of Netflix binge-watchers in the United States.
Netflix was the first big home entertainment company, isn’t studio-backed, and offers its subscribers the largest selection of on-demand digital entertainment of any other company. The company has made entertainment accessible and doesn’t feature any ads, allowing the viewer complete control of their entertainment experience. Since the company is not owned by any production companies, Netflix has recently begun creating its own content.
Lola Pecola is a twenty-one year old mom-to-be in the process of getting her bachelor’s degree. Pecola typically starts her day either at work or attending to her online classes, depending on her work schedule. Pecola fits the typical “new mom” stereotype even though she tries to avoid it. Being pregnant has made her more of a “home-body."
“I love to just sit in my bed with a tall glass of water and whatever snack I’m craving, roll over to reach my remote, and put on Netflix,” says Pecola. According to Pecola, she has been Netflix viewer since 2013. She found the subscription valuable since she was able to access it from her computer.
Pecola has admitted to getting through a whole series in a day. “I’m embarrassed to say that if a show holds my interest enough, I’m guilty of continuously snacking and losing track of time because of a good show,” Pecola laughs. “And I'll be cursed out if I continue a show that me and my boyfriend watch together without him.” It doesn’t matter what time of the day; whenever Pecola can finally sit down, nine out of ten times Netflix is her first choice.
Dr. Theo Plothe is very fond of Netflix, having written a book about the company soon to be released sometime in Spring 2019. With a Ph.D. in Communications, Plothe’s research has focused on digital gaming, social media, and remix culture. Plothe suggests that there are a lot of social factors to why people binge-watch Netflix. It is a good talking point between people as well as a decent ice breaker for people you are trying to get to know.
People get hooked on TV shows due to cliff hangers, making them come back for more. “We have lost the syncrosity of collective viewing, very few televised events where everyone watches the same thing at the same time,” says Plothe.
In recent years, Netflix has begun creating its own content. Hulu is a studio-backed company, so if they want to create a movie, it will have to reach out to Warner Brothers or Lionsgate. If Netflix wants to create a movie, they can just reach out to the actors themselves since they are their own producers.
“Television is social by nature; it’s meant to be watched with friends,” says Plothe. “As humans we have an innate to finish things, to complete things. We want to always see what’s going to happen at the end.”